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20/20 Hindsight: Chairs Going Further Than The Mets

Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse, the Mets continue to embarrass themselves as an organization, and there is no one to answer for anything other than the manager:

1. Brodie Van Wagenen was real quick to put down Sandy Alderson in saying he was going to be more available to the media, and he was going to build a team with no ifs. Seeing how he is hiding in plain sight, and this team is a bigger disaster than any team Alderson, he should call up Alderson and apologize.

2. It should be noted former executives and players noted Van Wagenen’s behavior was completely unacceptable. Also unacceptable was how Van Wagenen ducked reporters on not just this question but any question. Instead, he would rather berate Mickey Callaway and send him to the wolves. This is the definition of callow.

3. Jay Bruce has as many homers against the Mets as Robinson Cano has for the Mets this season.

4. The reports Van Wagenen was angry over the team blowing a Jacob deGrom start just feeds into the narrative Van Wagenen took the job to help his clients.

5. The Callaway criticism among the fanbase is getting way over the top. It’s now at the point where they are criticizing him for being directed by the team’s video review official to challenge a play. That’s not a manager lacking feel. That’s a manager doing his job with the information on-hand. It’s also very doubtful if he passed on the challenging the call because he used his “game feel” the same fans killing him for it would give him credit.

6. Like with the media, Callaway is just a whipping boy. The fact he does this without throwing anyone under the bus is really remarkable. Even with the regrettable Healey outburst, he has shown himself to be the consummate professional. Even if you disagree, you should admit no one deserves to be treated the way he has been.

7. More than Callaway, Mets fans deserve better than this.

8. The state of umpiring in baseball is a joke. Rhys Hoskins was out at the plate, and yet, the umpires were perfectly content being wrong on a potentially game changing play. It’s beyond stupid that tag plays at the plate are not automatically up for independent review like touchdowns.

9. Pete Alonso is quickly becoming like Mike Piazza, Yoenis Cespedes, or Darryl Strawberry. You have to stop to watch when he bats. His homer off Aaron Nola ended the no-hitter, and in the rally later in the game, you were just waiting for that Jeff McNeil hit to get Alonso to the plate as the tying run. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen.

10. At least at the plate, Amed Rosario has been quite good for over two weeks now. Over the past 19 games, he his hitting .333/.361/.455 with five doubles, a homer, and six RBI. That’s real progress, and if he hits like this he has a spot on this team. Unfortunately, it is increasingly looking like that may not be short.

11. When looking at the trade with the Brewers, everything that has occurred has been reasonably foreseeable. The lone exception may be Edwin Diaz‘s struggles. However, there are indications it may be bone spur related, which was a known problems. So, overall, every disaster that has occurred was foreseeable.

12. A Future’s Game with Anthony Kay, Justin Dunn, and Jarred Kelenic could have been the high point of the season, especially with them being friendly with one another and talking about how much they love and respect Alonso. It was still great seeing Kay pitch a scoreless inning.

13. As if things weren’t bad enough, Jerry Manuel wore a Mets cap as he coached the World Team in the Future’s Game. The backstabbing self-interested walking soundbite sacrificing the team’s youth and potential wearing a Mets cap is just perfect.

14. Somehow, Jake Arrieta hit Todd Frazier and Rosario were hit by pitches, and it was Frazier and Callaway who were tossed from the game. You can say it was unintentional, but Arrieta did hit three in that game which doubled his season total. He also gave that psychopath press conference after the game saying he was going to dent Frazier’s skull.

15. The Mets aren’t going anywhere, and they were heading into the All-Star Break. How the team doesn’t put Michael Conforto on the IL with his stiff back and just give Juan Lagares more playing time in the hopes of creating some sort of a trade market is just plain incompetence.

16. Still no Jed Lowrie.

17. Mets are getting better than can be expected production from Alonso, McNeil, Frazier, Dominic Smith, and Tomas Nido, and they are 10 games under .500. That’s almost impossibly bad and a reflecting on a bad GM making impossibly bad decisions.

18.  Steven Matz in the bullpen didn’t exactly look good with him allowing three hits to the five batters he faced in his second game. Of course, you should probably ask yourself why a starter would work in back-to-back games. But that would assume the Mets have a rhyme or reason for what they do.

19. The “Sell The Team” chants need to be much more prevalent in the second half of the season. No, it’s not going to get them to spend or operate this team better. What is will do is embarrass the Wilpons who deserve all the embarrassment they’re due.

20. Alonso has the potential to become a superstar tonight with a big performance in the Home Run Derby. Let’s hope it happens.

24 thoughts on “20/20 Hindsight: Chairs Going Further Than The Mets”

  1. Saul’s Colorist says:

    Daddy you must do a contest of how to re-align the MLB.
    The MLB commissioner knows that leaving the Mets in the NL “East” will not bring much media dollars as the Nets, Marlins, Braves and Phillies play on national TV.

    Their can be a semi balance schedule without or w expansion:

    Charlotte
    New Orleans
    Memphis
    Portland OR
    Salt Lake City

    Unfortunately these are not exactly big media markets…

    The Mets must leave this division?
    https://www.milb.com/milb/news/atlanta-braves-prospect-primer-arms-abound/c-305293754

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I’m not sure what you’re getting at here?

  2. Blair M. Schirmer says:

    “4. The reports Van Wagenen was angry over the team blowing a Jacob deGrom start just feeds into the narrative Van Wagenen took the job to help his clients.”

    —I admit I’m not clear on the motives of the various actors in this farce. Wags surely took the job primarily to help himself. After more than a decade as an agent he still didn’t even own outright the piece of CAA he was involved in and by some, credible accounts he saw this as an entry into eventual ownership.

    It’s much harder to explain his strange devotion to and pursuit of players he was once an agent for. It hasn’t helped the Mets and therefore hasn’t helped his reputation. And why would the Wilpons tolerate this obviously unconstructive attachment? Why would they tolerate a GM whose ongoing efforts to help his clients is necessarily at odds with the the needs of the team?

    Why would Wags particularly care if Cano finishes his career in Seattle, particularly to the point of making an obviously awful deal–and why would the Wilpons tolerate it? Why would the Mets think hiring Wags would get them anywhere–did they think hiring a novice in the field would get them some sort of in with Wags’ former clients? Did Wags pitch the Wilpons hiring him as a way to get Cano to the Mets (an obviously counterproductive deal), or to get a player such as Lowrie to sign (so what?) or to get deGrom to sign a below market deal (he didn’t)?

    I tend not to underestimate the stupidity of people who don’t value expertise–they don’t understand it, therefore they don’t think it matters. The Wilpons might have thought that experience doesn’t matter for a GM, and that Wags would get them some sort of deal with this or that player… otherwise, what can the explanation for allowing silly deal after silly deal be? And surely both Wags and the Wilpons knew as of October 2018 that any advance agreement to finagle wrt Wags’ clients could get them suspended from MLB.

    How could the nonsense we’ve seen been something anyone involved considered to be worth it–where’s the payoff? It does look like Wags is seeking to help former clients (if former is even the correct word), but that doesn’t answer… why? It’s one thing to get a former player of yours an autographing gig so that he picks up an extra 50k in walking around money–but why foolishly pick up a third potential All-Star 2Bman just because you used to rep the guy? He was going to get signed somewhere, after all.

    “5. The Callaway criticism among the fanbase is getting way over the top.”

    –The only reason I don’t criticize Callaway more is because I doubt he has much input, but there’s little question he’s weak at his job and is either ignorant or ineffectual on matters like playing time–either he thinks playing Ramos and many others into the ground is a good idea, or he can’t persuade the GM or ownership it’s a bad idea. Either way, he’s wrong for the job. Of course, ‘wrong for the job’ is a job requirement. The Wilpons aren’t going to hire a strong, independent manager. It’s the last thing they’ll do.

    This confusion as to accountability, though, is surely something the Wilpons prefer.

    —Wrt Rosario, I’m reminded that by 15-day rolling wRC+ he has been at his current level at least 8 times before this since the beginning of the 2018 season. (See link.) He has always been streaky, and was better than currently as recently as May 14 2019. I know you have high hopes for him in the second half, but it’s fair to say we’ve been here before. It’s also fair to say he’s in the worst possible organization to see and sustain significant improvement. And if Chili Davis was the kind of hitting coach who could reach Rosario, I doubt it would have taken this long.

    https://www.fangraphs.com/graphs.aspx?playerid=15518&position=SS&statArr=61&legend=1,2&split=base&time=daily&ymin=&ymax=&dStatArray=&start=2018&end=2019&rtype=mult&gt1=15

  3. OldBackstop says:

    “”””10. At least at the plate, Amed Rosario has been quite good for over two weeks now. Over the past 19 games, he his hitting .333/.361/.455 with five doubles, a homer, and six RBI. That’s real progress, and if he hits like this he has a spot on this team. Unfortunately, it is increasingly looking like that may not be short.”””

    Well, that was obvious last year when he was the worst starting SS in the NL.

    If Cano is suddenly old as he seems to be, time to use that Brodie human touch to make this a 30 year, 4 million per year deal, or whatever. Surely was part of the trade waiver discussion s.

    1. Blair M. Schirmer says:

      Interesting–a handshake agreement w Cano that if they swing a deal to NY, ‘if your performance declines to the point where you don’t warrant _______ (a starting gig? a backup spot [where a backup 2Bman who can’t really play SS or 3B and on a team with McNeil, Lowrie, and Hech is worth almost nothing]), then we have the option of buying you out’ ?
      It would be nice to think so. Anything make you think that might be the case?

      The bad news is that the Mets will leave Cano at 2B until at least well into 2020 before deciding to cut ties. They stuck with Jason Bay for 3 seasons, even giving him 70 games in his 3rd season w the Mets in spite of a line of .165/.237/.299. (Of course, once Bay left for Seattle he was actually better than replacement level. And TDA has actually been adequate with the Rays. Bruce would be 2nd in HR w the Mets and t10th in the NL. Sewald has been tremendous for the Braves–seems like a pattern.)

      The Mets have still batted Cano 3rd 14 of his last 20 games. Amazing.

      1. metsdaddy says:

        Brodie should be doing right by the Mets and not Cano. With each passing day, those concepts look mutually exclusive.

    2. metsdaddy says:

      It’s not obvious he doesn’t belong at short. One of his biggest issues is positioning.

  4. OldBackstop says:

    “””3. Jay Bruce has as many homers against the Mets as Robinson Cano has for the Mets this season.””””

    Just as a means of weaning you off your constant dWAR short term use, Bruce has a plus 0.6 dWAR as a left fielder this year.

    The top dWAR Mets is part time catcher Nido at 0.3.

    So…..don’t be citing, for instance, JD Davis’ dWAR stats through 50 games. It is silly.

    1. Blair M. Schirmer says:

      I can’t speak for MD, but a lot of us use dWAR as a shorthand for the large number of ways defense is measured, when that dWAR is reasonably correct. If I write “Davis’ defense chews up nearly all of his offense,” I don’t mean just dWAR, but also UZR, DRS, ARM, BIS defensive runs saved, professional scouts’ evaluations, credible fans’ cumulative scouting reports and valuations, Total Zone, Inside Edge fielding and the player’s ability to handle Impossible, Remote, Unlikely, Even, Likely, and Routine plays.

      1. metsdaddy says:

        When I talk about defense, I use DRS or UZR for the most part. Depending on the position, I’ll look at other stats too.

        I never use dWAR.

    2. metsdaddy says:

      I don’t use dWAR short term. I don’t use it at all.

  5. Blair M. Schirmer says:

    Can’t help noticing than in addition to continuing to bat Cano third, the FO continues to bat Alonso 2nd. Doesn’t it make more sense to bat him 3rd or, better, 4th–behind McNeil then two of Frazier, Ramos, Conforto, JD Davis, Dom Smith, and even Nimmo, all of whom have OBPs .340 or better for the season? If you hit Alonso 4th there’s only a 25% chance he’ll come to the plate in the 1st inning with no one on (or no one having hit a HR).

    Bat him 2nd, behind McNeil, and there’s a whopping 60% chance Alonso will come to the plate in the 1st inning with no one on or having hit a HR. How does this make sense, especially in games where the Mets are playing with half a batting order, where 6 through 9 are Rosario, Lagares, Cano, and the pitcher, with Nido often in the mix?

    –In addtion to starters like McNeil, Frazier, Ramos, and Conforto the Mets also have Davis w a .341 OBP for the season, Dom Smith at .389, and even Nimmo at .344. Yet the Mets somehow manage to have only one of these guys hit in front of Alonso. When they hit Alsono 3rd and 4th from May 7th through June 16th, he was fine. His OPS was .967. So they moved him back to 2nd in the order so that instead of having the likes of McNeil, Conforto, and Dom hitting ahead of him he has the likes of Lagares, Vargas, and McNeil.

    Batting orders are often trivial, but this feels like one more example of the Mets’ incompetence. Why hit your best hitter 2nd? When you often have half a lineup, the advantage of getting him an additional 15-30 PAs but using those PAs to have him hit in front of some of the lowest OBPs in the game is self-defeating.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      There have been studies showing your best hitter should bat second.

      1. Blair M. Schirmer says:

        Agreed, although those studies typically use higher OBPs at the back end of the lineup than do the Mets, who are terrible at the back end. The linked study, for example, runs simulations using a .333 OBP for the batting order slots not under direct examination.

        https://community.fangraphs.com/where-to-bat-your-best-hitter-a-computational-analysis-part-1/

        By contrast the Mets’ back end, instead of looking like .333, .333, .333, .333, p, often looks like .299, .287, .274, .242, p. That means their number 2 hitter is coming to the plate far more often with fewer men on base, which then doesn’t compensate for his coming to the plate a little more often with the game on the line. Well, at least we agree batting Cano third is just a sorry business. Imagine putting one of your weakest hitters (instead of, say, Conforto) behind Alonso. McNeil doubles with 2 out in a one run game. The Mets lineup just begs for Alonso to be walked here, bring Cano to the plate.

        1. metsdaddy says:

          Mets lineup mostly begs for Cano to bat seventh.

      2. OldBackstop says:

        That’s an oversimplification. If your best hitter has wheels, yeah. Mike Trout should bat second behind a high OBP guy and get the extra 30 PAs a tear. But if the Mets had a 2018 Nimmo, it should be Nimmo, McNeil, Alonso, Conforto, Smith then who cares…..

        1. metsdaddy says:

          No, that’s not an oversimplification, and no, speed is not part of the equation.

  6. OldBackstop says:

    Mets should trade Alonso for a treaure trough of young arms before midnight. They have Smith plus power first baseman are a dime a dozen.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Why not just put Vargas at first?

      1. OldBackstop says:

        You are becoming a useless one sentence retort troll on your own blog in these discussions.

        1. metsdaddy says:

          Sorry if I don’t feel the need for serious pensive replies to someone who comments solely to criticize me and the good players on the team because I believe a starting pitcher should reliably pitch at least five innings

    2. Blair M. Schirmer says:

      Don’t give this FO ideas, please. Btw, if plus power 1Bmen are a dime a dozen (and to some degree CJ Cron attests to that. 30HR, the Rays could have reupped him for $5m and dealt him, but they let him walk), then what GM in his right mind gives up a treasure trove of young arms for Alonso?

      Alonso’s add’l value comes from his adequate D (a lot of plus power guys are statues) and his OBP (a lot of the other guys are pure sluggers w BAs around .220-.230 and OBPs not far north of .300), and his stratospheric slugging % (a lot of the 30 HR guys often struggle to keep their slg’s over .500). Alonso always had a good BA and OBP in the minors, so I figure he’ll continue to hit .260+/.350+/.530+ with 0 to -5 defense.

      So let’s say our idea is that there’s general agreement he’s worth 5 WAR a year for the next six years. What would the Mets get for him, and why? Are they looking to restock in the low minors (and would deal pretty much everyone on the roster over the age of 22) in order to aim for 2024? Are they looking to deal Alonso and completely restock the current bullpen–and is that towards 2019, or 2020?

      It’s one of those “unthinkable” deals that are nonetheless interesting to think about. Wags would never do it, though. Right now some of the blame is falling on Diaz, w some for Cano and Familia. He isn’t going to make a move that causes the cannon of public opinion to swivel straight towards himself.

      1. OldBackstop says:

        @Blair. I’m being somewhat facetious on trading Alonso, but if you could get a Herschel Walker like boon from some smaller market team looking for a cheap marquee face for their franchise…..

        That’s what we need. That is why Noah was being floated. The cupboard is bare. We were built around the Four Young Cheap Aces. Now deGrom isn’t cheap, stupidly, one year too early, and he is 31. Noah has an ERA headed for five and might be better as a late inning reliever. Wheeler is gone. Matz is pen level. And Vargas will be gone.
        :
        What position do we have two young stars blocked at? First base, which is a stupid place to have that, because that is where dead leg vets with still potent bats go. Bruce, Carlos Santana, the list goes on. We have Dom Smith sitting there with a .939 OPS and younger (8 months), and a better glove…

        First base is an inefficient place in today’s game to have rookie stars. It blocks the right spectrum of age.

        1. Blair M. Schirmer says:

          I hear that–if someone offered you 3 Hall of Fame talents you’d even have to consider trading Babe Ruth or Walter Johnson.

          Still, Alonso’s got .600+ SLG power. At this point it feels like he might hit 35 HR in a *bad* year. If I’m the Mets and have a homegrown talent like his, I’m tempted to use LF rather than 1B as my ‘dumping ground’ for mere sluggers or guys like Dom. Speaking of which, Smith has only had the great half season, and only as a part-timer being spotted against certain pitchers. Granted, he’s been so good that he has managed to establish a new baseline for himself, but I’d be reluctant to trade Alonso on the grounds that Smith is even a surefire 2-3 win replacement for him for the next several years. Add in the emptiness that is the Mets OF, and Smith in LF for the time being is probably the way to go. (It’s a lost season, so unless their proprietary defensive numbers show he just can’t handle it, leaving him alone out there is overdue. Of course, being the Mets, that leaves McNeil pressed for either playing time, or it moves Conforto to CF and leaves the Mets with probably the worst defensive OF in the majors.)

          The Mets also need to think about dealing Conforto this offseason, opening up another OF spot. I hope Nimmo returns to health, and if he does the Mets need to stop screwing around and find themselves a real starting CFer. Knowing whether Smith can hit if he’s playing full-time and at the only position other than Alonso’s where he might conceivably be worth putting him in the lineup also helps them decide when to deal Conforto. These being the Mets, though, I’m certain they’ll find ways to hedge and fudge and make no meaningful determinations towards the 2020 season.

          Still, wrt Alonso, if LAD calls and offers Buehler, Ryu, and Urias…

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